Men, Women and Equality in the Creation Marriage Model
By J.R. Ensey
Evangelical feminists assert that in creation God made Adam and Eve co-equal in every way, without differences, excepting the obvious physical elements. They were mutually submissive and both had equal authority. The resultant conundrum: Any inference that Adam had some degree of authority beyond that of Eve would negate their position that such authority only came after the fall, as a result of sin. That negation, in turn, would serve to overcome their argument that Christian conversion restores the original relationship of mutual submission and co-equal authority. 1
What does the creation model in Genesis teach us about those first two humans and their relationship? Was it truly co-equal in authority? Did the Fall of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden result in male authority to later be erased by Christian conversion? I respectfully submit the following in consideration of these current issues.
The reshaping of the American mind
The cultural revolution that exploded in the 1960s was the product of a century of seething change in the Western nations. In retrospect, major societal modifications were inevitable, spurred by the economies of several nations, two world wars, and growing religious movements. Inherent were the crucial changes that would come in the home and workplaces of those nations, America in particular.
Liberation movements flourished during the last half of the 20th century, none growing faster or becoming more impacting than the women’s liberation movement. Organizations like the National Organization of Women (NOW) began to lobby Congress for new laws regarding what they called “rights.” 2 Street marches were common in every large city. The courts became compliant. Who wants to make Momma unhappy? Female judges became more prominent, yielding rulings that paved the way for the empowerment of women in business, politics and religion. Many Americans were sympathetic toward at least some of what was being promoted, as I was/am, but few could see the future very clearly. Emboldened lesbians began to come out of the closet saying, “Women need men like a submarine needs a screen door.” Some of the more prominent among them were appointed to government positions. Bureaucrats syphoned taxpayer money into their causes. Divorces skyrocketed. Husbands’ heads were spinning. The movement’s leaders dangled a carrot on a stick in front of every woman that said, “Equal rights…equal pay for equal work…equality in everything.” Enough of the marchers’ signs said something that sounded legitimate (and some were!) to get a substantial part of the populace on board with their movement. Most had no idea where that one-way train was headed or whether it would ever stop long enough for them to get off. 3
The sexual revolution moved forward on the backs of this and every other liberation movement—infiltrating civil rights groups and snowballing the youth rebellion. Even children’s rights movements were formed with some based on sexual activity (think NAMBLA). Abortion was called on to help curb “overpopulation” which was destined to doom the earth as we know it. Overpopulation was only a smokescreen to get legal abortion passed in Congress. 4 Every kind of “freedom” was enjoined, and every level of authority was challenged. Rock music gave voice to millions of youth who were in the process of unhitching from parental authority. Recreational mind-bending drugs could hardly be manufactured fast enough to keep up with demand. “The times they are a’changing,” Bob Dylan chanted. He was right.
Changes at every level in culture, including religion, began to impact the home and family. Women began to lobby every religious faith in the country to get on board with the revolution. The colleges and universities, traditionally training many more men than women, saw enrollment of women rise exponentially. New courses were introduced that promoted women’s causes using the new language created by hardcore feminists. Even the seminaries were appealing to women to join the clergy ranks and help change the “patriarchal, tradition-bound church” into one of shared leadership. Today, most educational institutions have more women than men. Christians saw women rise to become heads of their denominations. Religious organizations of virtually every faith saw a definite uptick in female participation in its leadership circles. In virtually every case, this has resulted in those denominations adopting a more liberal view of both politics and religion.
Their watchword became “equality.” Liturgies were transformed to accommodate the new language. Marriage vows were rewritten. Qualifications for leaders were realigned to accommodate females. The language had to catch up with the fast-moving women’s movement. Bibles were edited to show compliance with gender-neutral terminology. A low view of God’s Word had to be adopted. New “trajectory” interpretations of Scripture replaced standard biblical hermeneutics. Ways to circumvent the clear mandates of Scripture were created. Those who do not respect God’s Word should not be telling us how to interpret it.
Ultimately, they have finally come to the point of basically dismissing the biblical writers as bound to an outdated, unredeemable patriarchal system. When it was realized that they were not going to be able to explain key passages away with wordy essays, they switched gears: “Only some scriptures are inspired,” they deduced—that which conformed to their preferences and presuppositions. “The rest is so male-biased, so influenced by the writer’s own culture and prejudices, that it is inapplicable to the contemporary church,” said openly-gay, popular feminist clergywoman Virginia Mollenkott. She blatantly accused the apostle Paul of transmitting the “prejudice, superstition and bias of his own time.” 5 Denominations that were slow to incorporate feminist language into their theology were made to appear as populated by knuckle-dragging proto-Neanderthals.
Dr. Wayne Grudem points out some of the positions held by Evangelical feminists (E/Fs herein) that run counter to Apostolic Christian beliefs: “Genesis is wrong…Paul was wrong…later developments trump Scripture…disputed passages should be ignored…tradition trumps Scripture…experience trumps Scripture…prophecies trump Scripture…‘head’ means ‘source’…circumstances trump Scripture….” 6
The liberal press, both TV and print, got on board and pushed the feminist agenda farther and faster than anyone could have imagined. Movie producers churned out films that supported the cause. Advertising firms fell into lock-step. Overwhelmed religious leaders bowed humbly before the god of political correctness and gave the new wave of E/Fs virtually everything they wanted. Major Christian magazines became heralds of the new movement. Women became print editors, TV commentators and anchors. Social media was virtually taken over by them or their dedicated supporters. Lifting the status of women just seemed like the right thing to do, but few had an inkling where it would lead.The liberal press, both TV and print, got on board and pushed the feminist agenda farther and faster than anyone could have imagined. Movie producers churned out films that supported the cause. Advertising firms fell into lock-step. Overwhelmed religious leaders bowed humbly before the god of political correctness and gave the new wave of E/Fs virtually everything they wanted. Major Christian magazines became heralds of the new movement. Women became print editors, TV commentators and anchors. Social media was virtually taken over by them or their dedicated supporters. Lifting the status of women just seemed like the right thing to do, but few had an inkling where it would lead.
Given this cultural background, the mind of the average American has been reeducated and reshaped by the constant flow of books, articles, films and media posts of far left feminists. Average Americans are so biblically illiterate that they don’t know how to assimilate the conflicting flow of misinformation the feminists churn out. Their spin is in sync with the media and the professors in the classrooms.
The feminists among the Evangelical Christians went back to the Book of Genesis to try to make their case, perhaps supposing that if they could adjust it here, making the rest of the Bible comply should be no problem. Will they be successful?
The Creation Order
Genesis 2:15-23 makes it apparent that Adam had been created for some time before Eve. He had been placed in the Garden to “keep it”—providing whatever maintenance or development God ordered. Then the Lord commanded him to avoid the tree of knowledge of good and evil on pain of eventual death. He evidently obeyed. After this, the Lord determined that a “helper” was needed for Adam, so He made one that was suitable or “fit for him”—one that could meet his needs and whose needs he could fulfill. Some prefer to use the word “comparable” in describing the woman God made, but that is not the primary meaning of the Hebrew term. 7 There were few “comparable” attributes shared by Adam and Eve, “bone and flesh” being the primary one. The structure, tone and tenor of their bodies were different because their purpose was different. The timing of their creation was not the same, which Paul states was meaningful (I Timothy 2:12,13). Nor were their roles or responsibilities the same. Although both of the first humans were given “dominion” over growing things and the beasts of the field (which humans still have), there is no indication of an absolute and total interchangeability of their basic duties or functions. 8
Authority was expressed by God in creation and exercised by Adam before the Fall. The absolute equality 9 of Adam and Eve in all things is not explicit in Genesis. Both were created in the image of God, but there were differences in purpose, function, roles and responsibilities. Authority due to primacy in creation is also implied in Paul’s statement in I Timothy 2:13. Male headship in the relationship does not mean that the husband is in any way superior as a person, more skilled in every way, more intelligent, or an inherently better person than his wife. It is simply the fulfillment of God's design for the husband and wife relationship (I Corinthians 11:3,7-9; Ephesians 5:2-33; et al). These facts do not justify the use of such terms as “superior” or “inferior” in describing their relationship since they are never indicated in Scripture.
1) The order of creation: Adam was created first, then Eve (note the sequence in Genesis 2:7 and 2:18-23; 1 Timothy 2:13).
2) The representation: Adam, not Eve, had a special role in representing
the human race (1 Corinthians 15:22, 45-49; Romans 5:12-21).
3) The naming of woman: Adam named Eve; Eve did not name Adam
4) The naming of the human race: God named the human race “Man,”
not “Woman” (Genesis 5:2).
5) The primary accountability: God called Adam to account first after the
Fall, not Eve (Genesis 3:9).
6) The purpose: Eve was created as a helper for Adam, not Adam as a
helper for Eve (Genesis 2:18; 1 Corinthians 11:9).
7) The conflict: The judgment brought a distortion of previous roles, not the
introduction of new roles (Genesis 3:16).
8) The restoration: Salvation in Christ in the New Testament reaffirms
the creation order (Colossians 3:18-19).
9) The mystery: Marriage from the beginning of creation was a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32-33). 10
Beyond these points, it is worth noting that Adam was given particular assignments by God, who exercised His divine authority in doing so. Adam served as a cultivator and horticulturalist in the Garden before a woman was created. He was then assigned the responsibility to name all the animals—seen by some as an indication of authority. After a “helper fit for him” was created, Adam called her “Woman,” for she was taken from man. 11 Providing the names for all the animals and then for the one other human suggests a responsibility and authority that the woman never had. Similarly, God expressed his dominion over creation by naming the day, night, heaven, earth and seas. Giving names was usually seen as an act of authority. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s to Sarah. The Babylonians changed the names of Daniel and the three Hebrew men to demonstrate their subjugation and dominion over them. Jesus changed Cephas’ name to Peter, an act of expressing authority over him.
Genesis 2:24 seems to underscore the fact that the man was to assume the primary responsibility to establish the home. He is the one given the charge to “leave and cleave” (although the wife also “leaves and cleaves” in the marriage process), thus forming a family. 12 While cultures may vary in how this is handled, God holds the man responsible for this duty. Adam’s name implies family headship. It was a term to denote the entire human family and race. It was not given to Eve (Genesis 1:26-28).
Some see an inherent temptation to resentment and/or usurpation of authority by Eve (and by extension, all wives), along with the possibility for male abdication in Genesis 3:16 as a result of the Fall. The proper God-ordained relationship then and now involves the loving, humble headship of the husband and the gracious, willing submission of the wife (I Peter 3:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-33), both reflecting the relationship of Christ and the church. This is still the God-ordained pattern for the marriage relationship today.
A Current Application
Does all of this affect the lines of authority in the home and church today? Ask Paul. He said, “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet” (I Timothy 2:12 NASB). 13 That may sound harsh in the context of today’s culture and modern churches. Why that disallowance? Paul’s answer: “For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression” (v. 13). Paul appealed to the creation order and pre-Fall circumstances for at least part of his reason. Eve was last in creation and first in transgression. She usurped a position she had not been given. She ate of the forbidden fruit without Adam’s advice or consent. When she was tempted, perhaps she should have said something like, “I will defer to my husband. He has been given orders about this fruit and I will not eat it without his direction.” Rather, she saw, she desired, she took, and chose to eat the fruit on her own volition (Genesis 3:1-3), knowing that God had given Adam explicit instructions about it. In the attempt to spread the guilt for her sin, she then seduced Adam to eat the fruit also (3:6). He succumbed to her invitation to partake with her. 14 She mistrusted and disobeyed her husband in going beyond his directive. All of humanity has paid a heavy price ever since.
There is significance in the fact that when God saw what they had done, He did not seek them out saying, “Woman, where are you?” Or “Hey, where are you guys?” He came inquiring of the one in authority who was ultimately responsible: “Adam, where are you” (Genesis 3:9)? Equality of authority and responsibility were not indicated here. Paul’s epistle to the Romans indicates that Adam bore the brunt of the blame for the introduction of sin because he was the one in authority (Romans 5:12-17).
Some dire stipulations were placed upon both Adam and Eve for their disobedience. Adam’s sentence was given in vs. 17-19, increasing the difficulty of providing for himself, his wife, and those for whom he was responsible. The reason given by God (most major translations render only slight variations of the following): “because you listened to the voice of your wife and ate the forbidden fruit” (v. 17). “To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you” (Genesis 3:16 ESV)…Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you (NASB)…You will want to control your husband, but he will dominate you (NET)...And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you” (NLT). One can see the minimal differences in the way 3:16b is rendered, but most major translations seem to fit the woman into a pattern of increased intensity of pain in childbirth, and placing her, and all women thereafter, into situations where more stringent subjection might be imposed.
Here is Pulpit Commentary on this verse: “And thy desire shall be to thy husband. The Hebrew word is from to run, to have a vehement longing for a thing, and may have the same meaning here as in Song of Solomon 7:10 (Dathe, Rosenmüller, Delitzsch, Keil, Bohlen, Kalisch, Alford); but is better taken as expressive of deferential submissiveness, as in Genesis 4:7 (Luther, Calvin, Le Clerc, Lunge, Macdonald, Speaker’s ‘Commentary’.) Following the Greek in the LXX, Murphy explains it as meaning, “The determination of thy will shall be yielded to thy husband.” According to the analogy of the two previous clauses, the precise import of this is expressed in the next, though by many it is regarded as a distinct item in the curse (Kalisch, Alford, Clarke, Wordsworth). And he shall rule over thee. Not merely a prophecy of woman's subjection, but an investiture of man with supremacy over the woman; or rather a confirmation and perpetuation of that authority which had been assigned to the man at the creation. [Italics mine] Woman had been given him as an help meet (Genesis 2:18), and her relation to the man from the first was constituted one of dependence. It was the reversal of this divinely-established order that had led to the fall (Genesis 3:17). Henceforth, therefore, woman was to be relegated to, and fixed in, her proper sphere of subordination. On account of her subjection to man’s authority, a wife is described as the possessed or subjected one of a lord (Genesis 20:3; Deuteronomy 20:22), and a husband as the lord of a woman (Exodus 21:3). Among the Hebrews the condition of the female sex was one of distinct subordination, though not of oppression, and certainly not of slavery, as it too often has been in heathen and Mohammedan countries. Christianity, while placing woman on the same platform with man as regards the blessings of the gospel (Galatians 3:28), explicitly inculcates her subordination to the man in the relationship of marriage (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; 1Peter 3:1).” It seems that most other pre-revolution commentators follow a similar path in their interpretations. 15
Does Christian Conversion Reestablish A Pre-Fall Equal Relationship?
Modern feminists concoct versions of the events of Genesis 2-3 that often say something like, “The beautiful relationship of Adam and Eve before the Fall, when she was ‘equal to him in every way,’ 16 is restored by following the admonitions of Paul to mutually submit to each other as they enjoy interchangeable responsibilities, functions, duties and authority.”
However, as has been pointed out, these pre- and post-Fall assumptions are not spelled out or indicated in Scripture. It is not in the language of Moses, Paul or Peter. This is vernacular borrowed from the secular feminists and their protégés, the E/Fs. Why follow and listen to them when after sixty years of their influence on the women of America, we see the sad state marriages are now in, the confusion at every level of society, and the disruption of both church and state. Can they boast about less conflict and disharmony in our homes? Can they brag about more conformity to the plain words of Scripture? Can they deny that they have helped to lead our culture into the swamp of gender confusion, where our children either don’t know whether they are male or female, or are afraid to state which? If we deny affiliation with them, why use their language? Why follow them when we don’t want to go where they are headed? It makes no sense.
If Christian conversion leads to a restoration of a pre-Fall situation, it would be to the peaceful and beautiful relationship Adam and Eve enjoyed based on his obedience and her quiet willingness to submit to his headship, without tension or conflict. That scene seems well established before Satan tempted Eve to mistrust Adam and defy his authority.
Eve was never given the authority God gave to Adam. There is no scripture that affirms she had equal status in all ways with Adam. She could not surrender what she did not have. She was evidently happy with that arrangement until her temptation by Satan. This understanding may evoke angst in some “progressive” women and perhaps in a few who consider themselves conservative. This angst, even sometimes expressed as anger toward God, has filled the coffers of the pharmaceutical industry and the waiting rooms of thousands of psychologists and marriage counselors. Many women have participated in the what is called the cultural “emancipation process,” effectively emasculating the general male population. Then they marry and expect the husband to be a man. If he is, they often try to subject him to their adopted ideology, which results in marital disharmony and divorce. Most women—and men too—are happier and more fulfilled in a biblically-based marriage than one patterned after the modern shrinks and E/Fs. 17
Additionally, there is no indication the post-Fall conditions were rescinded when the Law of Moses was given, or when individuals became Christians after Pentecost in the Book of Acts or thereafter. “The redemptive work of Christ on Calvary did not overturn any of the judgments (whether a ‘curse’ or not) declared in Genesis 3:14-19—snakes still crawl on their bellies, Christ (the seed) did crush the head of Satan, man must still till the ground for food and experience a physical death. 18 Male authority was in evidence before and after the Fall. In fact, New Testament male authority in marriage seems to have been restated and reinforced to reflect the relationship between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:22-33). There is no verse of Scripture that decrees absolute mutual headship/submission in either relationship. Why should Bible believers side with the secular and religious feminists who are busy dividing both America and Christianity? 19
Initial authority/headship in Genesis was further explained by the apostle in I Corinthians 11:7-10: “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels” (KJV). He has again called on the creation model to let us know how important the created order was in God’s eyes. “Primacy in origin is related to authority. …It is not a cultural phenomenon.” 20 Women were to avoid any usurpation of dominance over men in the home or church. 21 There is nothing in plain view in the Scriptures that annuls these passages by Paul, such as by the efforts of “progressive” or “trajectory hermeneutics.” 22
The feminists have not been bashful about stating their views, regardless of who might find them offensive or misleading. They should grant the same privilege to those who disagree. Love must be our motivation if we believe we are on the side of truth. There is no desire to evoke consternation for I have many good friends who are great and effective Christians who may disagree with me. And I recognize that those who quote the apostle Paul are apt to become the objects of scorn by today’s egalitarians. But what choice do we really have? The apostle said what he was writing were “commandments of the Lord…God breathed” (I Corinthians 14:37; II Timothy 3:16). One can torture words and try to stretch the meaning to fit a desire or agenda, but the vernacular which Paul employs to make these points are simple enough for any eighth-grader to comprehend. We can cry that cultural change demands adjustment of Paul’s teaching, but when we start down that road there are no exits or U-turn intersections. The unqualified equality some are looking for is simply not extant in the creation narrative. Emotional appeals or subjective claims based on the tenets of the E/F movements must not be allowed to overturn the Word of God. If so, no fundamental doctrine will stand.
None can deny our culture is in trouble. If we fail to look ahead and see where all this is heading, deception is inevitable. A decade ago, who would have thought we would be facing what we are dealing with as citizens of “Christian” America? Further, who could have anticipated an article in our official magazine titled “The Feminine Side of God”? Could we ultimately fall in line with the secular culture as have virtually all the major universities, half of the United Methodist Church, many Presbyterian churches and Charismatic churches, and other religious groups? All major church denominations and organizations are threatened by the invasion of feminist theologies.
Popularized by the media, non-binary claimants are demanding equality not just of all people, but of all ideologies and faiths (except Christians, of course; those bad people must be punished by ostracism—or worse!). Responding to their pressure, the leading female candidate for President at this writing vows when president to make sure half of her cabinet is staffed by women and non-binary individuals. 23 Is this not a blatant act of discrimination in itself? And how will she know for sure that half of her cabinet are women if some are non-binary?
God knew this would happen in the last days. He warned us. Some are choosing to ignore His warnings. Does this acknowledgement amount to “the sky is falling” negativism? No, it is real and active, easily seen by anyone with open eyes. This is why we cry is going up for revival and renewal of our Apostolic distinctives—lifestyle as well as doctrine. This is why we were told to pray for those in power in both religious and secular entities. We need to call the names of those in national leadership in earnest prayer. God knows how to cause a nation to change its course.
In conclusion, let me share a few lines from the position paper of a major denomination that is trying to resist the pressure that is being put on all religious bodies today to capitulate to feminist objectives:
It should come as no surprise that our churches are experiencing heightened conflict regarding gender roles in the home and church—such is to be expected whenever secular standards are substituted for God's Word. Nor should we be shocked at the massive collapse of our families and the monumental ineffectiveness of churches nationwide—such is the result of rejecting God's design. But when God's people embrace God's design for gender roles in the home and church—balancing essential equality with functional submission—we maximize the opportunity for God to accomplish His purposes in our communities through our homes and churches.
Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, John Piper and Wayne Grudem, Eds. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2006).
Equality in Christ? By Richard W. Hove (Wheaton: Crossway Books 1999)
Leadership Is Male by J. David Pawson (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1990).
Evangelical Feminism: A new path to liberalism? By Wayne Grudem (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2006).
The Feminist Mystique Mistake: The Radical Impact of Feminism on Church and Culture, by Mary Kassian (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2005).
Countering the Claims of Evangelical Feminism: Biblical Responses to Key Questions by Wayne Grudem (Colorado Springs: Multnomah Publishers, 2006.).
Reposting of this article not permitted without written permission from the author.
1. See Dr. Daniel Segraves, “Marriage Without A Helpmate”? Pentecostal Life 1/20, pp. 34,35.
2. In 1977 I visited the NOW national convention in Houston. The nation’s first lady was speaking so there must be some legitimacy to this meeting, I reasoned. But Margaret Mead was also one of the speakers, which fact spoke volumes. As I walked through the cavernous display area on my way to the plenary session, I discerned (probably anyone could have) the real spirit behind this organization. Words fail to describe the aura of evil that filled the arena. I am sure there must have been legitimate causes and respectable-looking women there somewhere, but they were not in view. Perhaps a few worthy businesses had displays somewhere there, but what was in prominence were signs degrading all men. Booths and signs boldly promoting laws protecting prostitution were everywhere, some plastered on the women themselves. There were scores of racks of women’s clothing no self-respecting woman would ever dream of putting on. Unnamable products for lesbians were on prominent display. Rebellion and hate were in full flower. There was no question what all of this was really about, at least in large part. Surrounded by her staff and Secret Service men, the president’s wife was herded through one wing to the main floor where she was to speak. She probably never saw what I was seeing. I thought, she really has no idea how she is being used. The stares I got as apparently the only man in the place told me this was not where I needed to be. I cautiously walked out, actually ushered out by stout, staring women. They might as well had a sign posted, “No Men Wanted.” I went outside and sat down on a concrete bannister to contemplate the matter and make some notes. Within minutes, I was gradually surrounded by women who were muttering something under their breath. One woman, perhaps an aging flower child from Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, sat down, took a guitar out of a case, and began to play and sing—all the while looking at me. As the women came closer, staring, it occurred to me that I’d best take my leave. I saw first-hand what the “women’s movement” was mostly about—deconstructing a society based on the Judeo-Christian ethic, re-aligning the concept of family, and establishing a culture unfriendly to Christians and the Bible—all supported by liberal and far-left politicians and journalists. In that regard, they have succeeded. Read more about the conference at https://www.houstoniamag.com/news-and-city-life/2018/01/1977-national-womens-conference-houston.
3. In 1972 the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution was passed by the Senate and sent to the states for ratification, which required three fourths or 38 of the states to adopt it for it to become law. Although Virginia could be the 38th state in 2020, the time limitation on the amendment ran out in 1982. A loophole may be found to annul that date. The amendment wasn’t long or complicated in appearance: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.” (The last word has been changed to “gender” and could yet be changed to “orientation.”) It sounded benign until the people began to be informed about what it would mean in the future. As Wikipedia states: “[P]reventing the ERA’s passage became a way to stop feminism and the other social movements on the left that threatened traditional American values.” How the “murky” language could be applied is what provided the brakes on passage. Alleged “discrimination” in the home or church would be chargeable. The LGBTQIA community is pushing hard for ratification. The hiring practices of a church would be affected. Easily seen are a hundred ways it could be applied that could curtail the rights of religions and religious persons. Disruptions in the home, churches, businesses, and in all places would be the order of the day. Bible-believing Christians will pay a heavy price should it be ratified.
4. As soon as abortion was legalized, the overpopulation idea faded from discussion for years. It is beginning to resurface because the anti-abortion efforts seem to be gaining traction under the current administration.
5. Virginia Mollenkott, Men, Women and the Bible (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1977), pp. 93,103.
6. These and other E/F ideas are examined in Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism? By Wayne Grudem (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2006), pp. 35-139.
7. The Hebrew term ezer according to B-D-B Hebrew lexicon, is “help, succor, one who helps; from azar, to help, support.” In other words, God made Adam a “helper, a supporter,” not a co-equal partner. Out of the 52 English translations on Bible Gateway.com only two (the World English Bible, virtually unknown and rarely quoted, and the NKJV) use the word “comparable” to render “meet.” The adjective “suitable” was used a number of times as were “helper fit for him” or “helper right for him.” Does the NKJV translation get chosen by egalitarians at this verse because comparable, likely suggesting to most readers to be “the same as,” is used at this verse? To construe the term, particularly after reading the remainder of the biblical passages dealing with husband and wife relationships, to mean a co-equal in all ways with the one who was initially assigned to the task by God Himself, is eisegetical.
8. This is the language the feminists wanted—interchangeability and the recognition of absolute equality in all things. They came to disdain their God-given role and with the revolution and liberation movements of the last century or two, they have struggled to “break free” of any perceived gender-based restrictions. Surely it goes without saying that husbands and wives can share household chores and certain family responsibilities without violating any scriptural prohibition or relinquishing any authority God had in mind. Respect, consideration and reasonableness are commanded by God and assumed by the author.
9. The concept of male/female equality is so overemphasized in our culture that confusion is rampant. Yes, there was equality of value and worth, dignity and respect, then and now. However, equality in these features does not translate into equality in all attributes. To overburden the word to mean no distinctions in roles or functions is to distort God’s purposes. Equal honor or respect, for instance, does not always mean equal rights, roles or responsibilities. As Richard W. Hove points out in Equality in Christ? (Wheaton: Crossway Books 1999). pp. 111-113. a cup of flour equals a cup of sugar in some ways but not in all ways. We may declare X and Y as equals but only in some defined respects. Men and women are equals in their standing before God as redeemed individuals (Galatians 3:28; 1 Peter 3:7) but are not equals in every physical and emotional way, or in roles or purpose. We often quote when receiving an offering: “It is not equal giving, but equal sacrifice,” thus qualifying “equality.” One cannot call any two things “equals” without providing a common means of measurement or objective standard. Without qualification, equality is left an undefined and unknown quantity. Perhaps that is why Paul followed Ephesians 5:21 with clarification in vv. 22-24, otherwise an imprecise, conflicting and potentially misleading interpretation may be drawn.
10. Excerpted from Wayne Grudem, Countering the Claims of Evangelical Feminism (Colorado Sprints: Multnomah Publishers, 2006), p. 72.
11. The “helper” God made for the man was not called “Eve” until after the Fall and as they were being expulsed from the Garden. Before that she was merely called “Woman” or “the woman.”
12. In ancient times, and still in some cultures today, the wife was “given” to the man who “came for her.” The man left his home and went to find a wife, for whom he may have paid her father a sum of money or transferred possessions or property. In weddings today, it us usual for the minister to ask, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” An ordinary response from the father is, “Her mother and I.” Since the cultural revolution, the words common to vows for centuries regarding obedience of the wife have been dropped from most ceremonies.
13. The KJV renders the verse: “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” Although the word “usurp” is not in the Greek text, the KJV translators evidently considered female authority over men a usurpation, therefore the word was inserted. Female clergy was not countenanced in the 17th century Anglican church, when the KJV was published. The first official Anglican female priests were ordained in last half of the twentieth century after several years of pressure from feminist organizations.
14. Some visualize the scenario as Adam standing beside her when she was being spoken to by the serpent. That seems doubtful. “With her” could mean with her in the Garden/orchard but not necessarily beside her at that moment. Adam would have told her not to do it if he had been beside her. Doubtless the woman and the serpent were discussing the matter out of the earshot of Adam: “He said to the woman….” If Adam had been standing there beside her, the serpent would be seen speaking to both. Only the woman responded to the serpent. The scenario in Genesis 3:1-6 appears to place her alone with the serpent during the temptation. She evidently went to Adam with the fruit and suggested/persuaded/tempted him to also eat. He sinned when he “listened to the voice of his wife,” not the serpent, to partake of the fruit (v. 17).
15. The term “subordination” used by the Pulpit Commentary should not be, and probably was not, intended to be interpreted as inferior, which could be one possible meaning of the term in some contexts. In its use here, it likely refers to a wife’s submissive role regarding authority, not to her lack of importance, worth, or dignity. For example, most employees have a foreman, or boss, CEO or whatever the title may be. That doesn’t degrade one’s personhood, worth, or dignity—it merely acknowledges that someone, an employer or his agent, is in a position of higher authority in that company or workplace. The submissive role of a wife does not degrade her in any way.
16. This statement was recently made in the 1/20 issue of the Pentecostal Life magazine.
The E/F cry of “anti-woman” will likely be heard on social media and beyond. God knows nothing is farther from the truth, however. Few have enjoyed the op
17. portunities and popularity of my wife. She has been the speaker in scores of conferences and meetings across America and overseas. She has published two books that are still in print and get rave reviews. At this writing she is preparing for a funeral of a sister in Christ whose unchurched family asked her to be the organizer and speaker. She had greatly helped the deceased lady during the last few years of her life, and her loving care had touched the hearts of the family. Few women have been more effective as a Christian or as fulfilled as a woman as she is. My daughter was the wife of a minister (now deceased) for 22 years. She is still active and has assisted in a church plant. Apostolic women are fulfilled in Christ as they follow the admonitions of Scripture, not as they embrace the tenets of secular or Evangelical feminism. The biblical way is truly the liberating way.
Some might say, “But am I expected to submit to my husband when he is a thoughtless ogre, who can’t…who doesn’t…who always…” and on and on? Got it. There could be a thousand questions that begin with “What if….” No one is justifying abuse, physical or otherwise. But it doesn’t say submit only if he is perfect—handsome, smart, thoughtful, courteous, kind, neat, spiritual, and a great financial manager. And prayer still changes things—especially the pray-er. Submit first to the Word, and it will be easier and simpler to submit to your husband. Lean on pastoral counseling and leadership. Trust God by trusting His Word. The fifth commandment says, “Honor your father and mother,” but doesn’t add qualifications. Regardless of whether they are ideal parents, a way can be found to honor them. All need to submit to biblical teaching and pastoral leadership and counseling. Wives might ask, “Am I the godly Christian woman described by the apostles in the Epistles?” We must find an altar where we can shake loose from the influence of our culture and get back to simple obedience and conformity to God’s Word. That is really what this article is about.
18. Jason L. Weatherly, Great Was the Company of Women (Cabot, AR: Apostolic Ink, 2017), p. 24.
It may or may not be significant or relevant to the subject at hand, but an interesting statistic is that at the beginning of 1970 there were 17 female members o
19. f Congress, including the House and Senate. In 2018 there were 23 female members of the Senate and slightly over 110 in the House of Representatives. More than 3 out of 4 female House members are Democrats and twice as many female senators are Democrat rather than Republican. (Source: https://cawp.rutgers.edu/list-women-currently-serving-congress) A close examination of the platforms of the two parties allows one to see how the influence of women in Congress (and in the court system) has played a definite role in the left turn the U.S. has made in recent years. Could that also occur in the churches? Check out the recent leadership changes in the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Methodist Church, and other mainline denominations. The influx of women in their leadership has helped to seriously divide them over gay marriage, abortion, and other gender-based issues and roles. In unity against conservative principles, the female members of the House were dressed in white during the last State of the Union address by the President. The stood in solid opposition to his message and platform opposing abortion and supporting other conservative issues affecting religion and the traditional family—a stirring display of what may lie ahead.
20. Matt Slick https://carm.org/genesis-2-adam-and-eve-and-authority.
21. Again, the apostle makes it abundantly clear that men are to treat wives with sacrificial, selfless love. There is no countenance of overbearing, dictatorial, or abusive behavior in the Scriptures.
22. Trajectory hermeneutics is the interpretive practice of assuming that Paul was bound to his Jewish background and culture; therefore, some have him implying, “This is the way we teach marital authority in the first century; in the future, other more enlightened social philosophies may apply.”
23. Now a person can identify as one of 50 or more genders. Drag queens are invited to speak in our schools. School children are fed a diet of confusing information about their gender. According to Wikipedia, “[N]on-binary people may identify as having two or more genders (being bigender or trigender); having no gender (agender, nongendered, genderless, genderfree or neutrois); moving between genders or having a fluctuating gender identity (genderfluid); being third gender or other-gendered (a category that includes those who do not place a name to their gender).” Where will all this end? I suppose the Great Tribulation will sort it out; if not, the White Throne Judgment looms in the future. “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right” (Genesis 18:25).